How do you know someone? Do you know someone after spending time with them and observing their actions? Do you know someone after listening to them speak and hearing the words that come from their heart? Do you know someone by their interests, by their friends, by the work they do, or by the things they like and don’t like? Or do you have to take all of these things into consideration before we can really know someone?
In the Torah, “knowing” someone means being truly intimate with them on a sexual level. Is that how you know someone?
Can you know someone on a soul level? And is the soul the real “person” or is the ego and the personality the actual “person” that you get to know on the physical plane?
There are people I feel I know well, because they are so verbally open with me. They pour out their heart and soul and mind to me with their words. I know their thoughts because they share them with me. In this way I know them.
There are other people I feel I know, although we may only be acquaintances, because I have carefully watched their actions and listened to their words and observed their way of being in the world. I may not know them in depth, but I feel I know something about them. I “get” their essence.
Other people I know hardly at all really, yet I know them. They are so open hearted and willing to share themselves that it becomes hard not to know them to some degree. They share themselves willingly, make themselves an open book for all to know if they choose to turn the pages.
And then there are people who are very close to me, people I should know well, people whose heart and soul and mind should seem like a well-read and memorized book to me whom I feel I hardly know at all. They can seem like strangers. I may be able to predict their behavior. I may know their likes and dislikes. Yet, I may have no idea who the real “person” is within the body I recognize.
I wonder most about these people…how to really know them…why I don’t know them…if they want to be known. Can you really ever know someone who doesn’t want to be known? Do you remain-or become-strangers because someone wants it that way? Or is it possible to simple not look deeply enough, listen well enough to someone and end up strangers despite a long-term relationship?
And how do people find me? Open book or hard to read? Am I easy to know? I hope so.
What about you?